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Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:23 PM

Topics I've Started

Bad Habits You Would Like To Break.

08 July 2014 - 04:23 PM

All too often when working in studios by ourselves with no one else around, we get poor habits while working. Maybe it is something we have had for years, or something we just picked up within the last few years. A few of mine. . .


  • wiping my hands on my pants instead of a towel or rag while throwing.
  • waiting too long to clean the wheel up, everything is crusty, and so has to be soaked down to soften before cleaning.
  • Doing the same with the floor.
  • Not putting tools away once I use them, either that or developing a better tool organization system.

These are just a few of mine I have noticed lately, what are yours?

How Do You Educate The Customer?

15 May 2014 - 01:39 PM

How do you educate your customers about your work. Do you teach him some simple tricks to use when looking at ware?


Long story short, many years ago I had a customer at my home buying several Communion sets. I had set out 25 sets for him to choose from, and we did some changing around of chalices with the plates to match what he saw in the way of pairs. We were having a discussion of why I paired up chalices and patens, and decoration details etc. when he noticed a paten setting by itself.  I had a Paten(plate) set aside that had a beautiful finish with decoration that had come out quite well. He wanted to know why I was not including it in the selection as he thought it was beautiful.  I told him it was a reject, and I was going to use it around the house. He pushed the issue, so I held up the plate with fingers supporting it underneath, rapped it with a wooden dowel. I then did the same with one of the ones in the sale. I asked if he noticed a difference, and after an explanation of cracks, and overtones in sound got him to listen closely again. He could then hear the second sound. I then showed him where the crack was, and he said he would have never seen it unless I had pointed it out. I told him, that it may last years, or a few days, but that the crack was a flaw and I could not sell it. Before packing up the 20 sets purchased, he was happy to check each plate and each chalice to see if he could find a crack I had missed-nada.



In The Studio Forum F. A. Q. Listing (Frequently Asked Questions)

23 February 2014 - 10:14 AM

This strand will be a series of compilations from In the Studio forum. Please do not reply, as these are to be without-wanderings. If you have an idea for a new line here-PM me.


PS not my idea, but one John has set up in the Technical forum.


Best, Preston

How Do You Store Your Kiln Shelves?

06 February 2014 - 12:01 PM

I used to stack shelves where ever I could find a place to put them-which seemed to always be in the way in the shop. Being a small room, I just could never find a place out of the  way to store them. I decided last year enough moving them around-I built a cart out of scrap materials from a deck build and added heavy wheels to the base. It works well in my situation as I can push it into a corner or some other area and have it out of the way, yet have it handy when I need to load or unload the kiln. It  is also easy to get it to the work area for kiln washing or scraping.  How do you store your shelves?

How Do You Start Your Trimming?

21 January 2014 - 05:21 PM

When I first learned to throw, trimming was one of the next things I had to master. My prof demonstrated using the trimming tools and working the outside edge of the piece and then working the foot ring in, then if needed leveling off the foot ring with a needle tool.  I had very little problem with this technique, as we were using Randall wheels with plaster bats. Everything dried off the bat, and so there was not cutting off from the wheel head.  Crank up 3 years when I started at Penn State and using metal wheel heads and having to cut everything off with cutting wire. Sloppy uneven bottoms that would grab my tools and cause uneven pots that had difficult times getting even-plus I was still a newbie. Someone, either a prof or student showed me to use a flat blade held perpendicular across the whole piece directly over the center. By pressing down with this blade the entire bottom would be leveled out. I started to use it constantly and found that there was never any need for the needle tool leveling of the foot ring. It also made it easier to get very even areas on casseroles, plates and other wider forms. I use the technique on nearly everything unless I decide to use a wiggle wire with an untrimmed base.